Galerie Photo4, Paris
For over fifty years, internationally acclaimed photographer Eikoh Hosoe has been producing cutting edge works demonstrating a unique mastery of the photographic medium. Early on in his career he abandoned the documentary style prevalent in the post-war years and produced work that breathed a sense of experimentation and freedom into photography. By calling on mythology, metaphor and symbolism his images broke the bounds of traditional photography. Hosoe developed a unique style situated at the crossroads of several different art forms, combining photography with elements of theatre, dance, film and traditional Japanese art. This exhibition, in collaboration with the Paris gallery, Photo4, includes a selection of silver-gelatin prints from his most acclaimed series: Man and Woman, Kimono, Barakei (Ordeal by Roses), Kamaitachi and Embrace. Eikoh Hosoe was present for the opening of the exhibition and a book-signing.
Hosoe began to gain recognition in the late 1950s with the series Man and Woman (1959). Through the writer Yukio Mishima, Hosoe was to meet Tatsumi Hijikata, one of the founders of Butoh dance. In 1961 Mishima saw some of Hosoe’s photographs of Hijikata and he invited the photographer to work with him on what became the Barakei (Ordeal by Roses) series, first published in 1963. After this Hosoe began work with Hijikata on the series Kamaitachi (1965-1968), an intense dramatisation of Hosoe’s childhood memories in the rural Tohoku region where he spent the wartime years. Hijikata embodied the 'kamaitachi', a legendary weasel-like demon said to haunt the rice fields. Kamaitachi is perhaps the finest illustration of Hosoe’s hybrid photographic style, combining performance and documentary with a dramatic, baroque visual aesthetic embodying the founding principles of ankoku butoh, or dance of darkness. Hosoe continued to work with Mishima and Hijikata throughout their lives and in 1971 he shot the series Embrace with Hijikata and for which Mishima penned the introduction.
© Copyright 2008 . Studio Equis . All rights reserved